VALPARAISO | Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County kicked off its annual It Just Takes One fundraising campaign with powerful words from Ebonè Ivory, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County’s Youth of the Year, and Jennifer Hedger, a Club parent.
In front of a dedicated audience of Board members, volunteers, and friends of the Club – Ebonè asked and declared, “Have you ever felt alone and hurt at some point in your life? That was me before I started going to the Club. The Club has protected me and showed me that I am an amazing person just the way I am.”
Ebonè’s words were followed by Club parent Jennifer Hedger who talked about her son John and how important the Club is in his life. “Boys & Girls Clubs holds a very special place in my heart. My son John, born six months premature, suffered brain damage resulting in a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. Growing up, John loved to play sports. He so badly wanted to join a team. I turned to the Boys & Girls Clubs. John was welcomed with open arms, given a chance to be a part of a team, and treated like everybody else. John thrived and, more importantly, he found a place where he belongs!”
Guest speaker Jason Mergl of Kemper Preferred addressed the crowd by saying he first learned of the Boys & Girls Clubs when he was 42 years old. Not only is he amazed at what the Clubs do for children, but how enthusiastic kids are about their Clubs!
Board member Michael Simpson of M.E. Simpson Co., Inc., serving as Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County’s ”It Just Takes One” Annual Campaign Chair announced team captains of the Campaign including: Larry Moore of Computer Services, Inc., Jeff Leetz of Indiana Beverage, and Doug Miller of Dott Marketing. Simpson also had the pleasure of announcing that the Clubs have raised 18% of their $195,000 campaign goal prior to the kickoff event.
President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, Ryan Smiley, states, “Our 2014 campaign goal is to raise $195,000 toward the organization’s operating expenses necessary to provide the high-quality youth development programs such as Club Tech, Power Hour and Smart Moves, tutoring and athletics to nearly 5,000 children and their families throughout Porter County.” To make a contribution to the “It Just Takes One” campaign, please contact Alison Martin at (219) 464-7282 x 226 or visit bgcpoco.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County has been opening doors to GREAT FUTURES for Porter County’s youth since 1971. The Clubs provide high quality programs for nearly 5,000 boys and girls in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, the arts and sports, fitness and recreation.
For more information on membership, volunteer opportunities or to make a tax deductible donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, please contact your local Club, call (219) 464-7282 or visit bgcpoco.org.